Take a Drink: every time someone says “Saint”
Take a Drink: whenever a heathen is reformed
Drink a Shot: for every awful Christian Rock song
Take a Drink: whenever pro wrestling turns REAL
By: Oberst Von Berauscht (Six Pack) –
The Masked Saint is based loosely on the true story of an ex-professional wrestler who became a Baptist Pastor. In this version of the story, the pastor also fights crime using the same mask he uses to wrestle, and makes an “epic” return to the ring in order to support his church financially.
Ah, Christian cinema. A long and proud line of these films has popped up in the last few years, with more and more making their way into theaters. At first I was giving these films a chance, because despite the fact that I’m not a Christian, I wanted to see whether real art could come from these movies. As it turns out, they’re all thinly veiled propaganda designed to appeal solely to the choir.
10 minutes into The Masked Saint I realized that I was alone in the theater. And as the movie had already decided that it didn’t have anything to say, I decided I didn’t have the patience. The rest of this article reflects the notes I messaged to myself during the film.
On the plus side, Roddy Piper seemed to be having fun in his small role as a wrestling promoter. It would have been nice if he’d had more to do…
The movie opens on a child getting beat up by bullies. The Boy sees a pro wrestler on TV and copies the moves to fight back, befriending the bully immediately afterwards. The word for this is “Wishful thinking.”
Flash forward to the present day, and “The Saint” is a wrestler with a Christian Persona. Even his special move “the Faith-breaker” is Christian. It consists of flipping the opponent to the ground and falling into a prayer-pose. Is breaking the faith of an opponent strictly Christian? Note to self: ask Henry J. Fromage.
Now the Saint is fighting his biggest opponent, “The Reaper”, who dresses like Eric Draven from The Crow. The Reaper breaks The Saint’s leg, because apparently Wrestling is real, dammit!
The Saint, real name Chris Samuels, retires from the business to become a Pastor in a small Michigan town, which has more gang violence than Chicago, apparently.
Prediction: He’s going to have to don the mask and fight gangs to save his flock?
Creepy looking businessman who pays all the Church bills is an asshole to everyone around him, because he pays all the Church bills. Do assholes like this exist in real parishes? Why do they continue supporting and attending Church if they so clearly hate everyone in them?
Pastor Samuels is not telling anyone that he’s a pro wrestler, but you know who knows? The old black woman who listens to Christian Metal. Is this a new, less interesting version of the Magical Negro phenomena that I haven’t heard of?
The wife beater neighbor of the Pastor has a wife who wants to go to Church.
Prediction: the wife beater will have a last-second change of heart and will be immediately forgiven for being a wife beater.
Followup: Yes, that happened.
The Saint is being pursued by a police detective who wears a cross but doesn’t go to Church. He’s far less concerned about the fact that Pimps and Bank Robbers are being arrested for their crimes thanks to The Saint, and more about going after a Christian figure. Because that’s how Police do things.
Incidentally, the depiction of the prostitutes in this film is of 20-something women who dress funny. There is mention or reference to drug abuse and mental disorders forcing them into the life, and all it takes is a little bit of Jesus to cure them.
Prediction: the Pimp arrested earlier in the film will go after the Saint.
Followup: He did, and it was the climax of the film. And in fact, it was the wife beater who took out the Pimp, and saved the day. So now we will totally forgive his wife-beating right?
The cold, dead realization that this movie is the exact plot as Nacho Libre, minus the humor and the cool art design. That movie even managed to have positive Christian overtones without being overly preachy.
The colder, deader feeling when the Pimp Character calls The Saint “Macho Libre” and you realize that they knew all along, and didn’t care.
The Masked Saint maintains a consistent message throughout of faith and understanding. Which is all fine and good, but if it had any artful way of communicating these things, the movie might have been interesting. As it is, this is yet another in a long-running series of failures for Christian cinema. Is there an artist left in Christendom?